Major decision due on Hartlepool Town Deal projects

Councillors are being asked to give the go-ahead for two more Hartlepool Town Deal projects to be sent to the Government for final sign-off.

Detailed business cases have been drawn up for the redevelopment of the town’s former Wesley Chapel and measures to improve connectivity between The Waterfront and the town centre and Seaton Carew, and these will be submitted to the Department for Levelling Up, Communities and Housing (DLUCH) – subject to the agreement of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Finance and Policy Committee on Monday June 20th.

This follows a decision by councillors in April to submit business cases for two other Hartlepool Town Deal projects – Health and Care and Civil Engineering Academies – to DLUCH.

Work is continuing on the business case for a fifth and final project – the reimagining of Middleton Grange Shopping Centre – with a report due to go to a meeting of the Finance and Policy Committee in the near future.

Councillor Shane Moore, Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council and Chair of the committee, said: “These are exciting times for Hartlepool and it is great to see the progress that is being made, not just on the Town Deal but on a range of fronts.

“These two key projects will deliver significant employment opportunities, stimulate economic growth, and bring a dilapidated heritage asset back into use.  Subject to the approval of the committee, I look forward to the business cases going off to DLUCH for approval.”

Alby Pattison, Chair of the Hartlepool Town Deal Board which brings together representatives of the local public, private and voluntary sectors, added: “The submission of these business cases would be another significant milestone along the way of realising our regeneration ambitions for the Borough.”

The plans for the former Wesley Chapel involve the creation of a 36-bedroom boutique hotel. The overall project cost is £3.91million. It is proposed that the Hartlepool Town Deal funds the “Conservation Deficit” element of the project at a cost of £1.25million, with Jomast Developments funding the remaining £2.66million.

The Waterfront Connectivity project aims to enable better and additional use of The Waterfront (the marina and surrounding land) by providing direct connections to Seaton Carew and improved signage to Hartlepool town centre. The project is seen as a strategic fit with improvements proposed by Network Rail for Hartlepool Railway Station, which are expected to be completed in 2023. These include the reopening of a second platform and the creation of a northern entrance/exit.

DLUCH will release funding once it is happy for the projects to proceed after reviewing the business cases.

Hartlepool was one of 100 towns across England invited by the Government to develop innovative regeneration plans and potentially secure up to £25 million. The Council was informed last summer that it had been awarded the full amount.

More information about the Hartlepool Town Deal is available at www.hartlepool.gov.uk/HartlepoolTownDeal

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